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3.9 out of 5 stars43
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Much like the filmic adaptations of Agatha Christie's stunning source novel, a literary work that added the killer to serial, the Ten Little Indians rhyme has quite a few versions. I mention this because the core essence of the source, both in written rhyme and filmic celluloid, is always what shines through. The films vary in quality, though each one does bring its own ideas to the adaptation, George Pollock's 1965 version is a dandy, though not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.

The story is relocated to a remote snowy mountainside. Ten people have gathered there, either as servants or guests invited by the mysterious U.N. Owen. Once all gathered under one roof, a tape recording reveals that all the guests are guilty of despicable crimes, and thus must pay the price. Cue the now standard formula of each member of the ten getting bumped off as suspicions and panic begins to arise. With each death comes the removal of a model Indian from a circular display laid out on the lounge table.

Thus we have a serial killer whodunit (whosedoingit?) in full effect. The deaths are inventive, with some carrying genuine suspense and chills into the bargain, and although the final reveal lacks credibility, it has the requisite surprise factor to not disappoint genre fans. The beauty here is in the cast list, where for fans of British classic cinema it's a roll call of greats. Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Dennis Price (whose visual reactions here are, ahem, priceless) and Leo Genn lead the male British front, while Shirley Eaton fights the British girl's corner with sauce and sizzle. Supplementing the Brits for an overseas audience, is pop star Fabian, Hugh O'Brian and Daliah Lavi. The latter of which also raises the temperatures considerably.

Where the pic falls down badly, apart from Fabian's poor acting that is, is with the visual ascetic served up by Pollock and his cinematographer Ernest Steward. The mansion where the plot unfolds is ripe for much shadow play and creaky corridors, the story kind of demands that the old dark house staples are adhered to. Sadly this area is rarely born out, making it a very wasted opportunity to lift the film to better heights. Still, as stated previously, the source material is timeless and for fans of such fare it's hard not to feel tingly as the conclusion draws in.

If the divisive "one minute audience break to discuss who we think dunit" that stops the film before the reveal seems a bit William Castle lite, then so be it, but it's still fun and shows a willingness by the makers to involve the audience fully in the murderous malarkey. I wonder what Agatha made of it?

All together now, "Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were Nine..." 7.5/10
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on 31 July 2008
This is one of the best adaptations of the Christie novel, taking many then big stars of the sixties for the 'victims', including Shirley "Goldfinger" Eaton and Wilfrid Hyde-White and Stanley Holloway, both fresh from success in "My Fair Lady".

Unfortunately, this DVD is extremely poor in the picture quality department, a kind of haze lingering throughout - it appears to be down to a conversions issue and ghosting is a constant problem. A less trusting buyer might wonder whether Orbit have put out a bootleg product.

Extras are limited to a very dull list of other Orbit releases and the 'Whodunnit Break' - an extremely cheesy gimmick from the original theatrical release which purports to offer clues but simply throws up flashbacks to each murder in turn.
11 comment24 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Harry Alan Towers’ first stab at Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians – to give it its 1965 politically correct title – is fairly typical of his modus operandi: an affordable mixture of familiar names (Hugh O’Brian, Shirley Eaton, Fabian, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Daliah Lavi, Dennis Price, Mario Adorf, Leo Genn and the voice of Christopher Lee), an exotic but under-utilised setting (Austria, albeit only in the establishing shots) and a join the dots script knocked off by Peter Welbeck (Old HAT’s pseudonym, though not a guarantee that he actually wrote the whole thing himself) in less time than it probably took to put the deal together.

Although it includes a couple of wrinkles in the plot that originated in Rene Clair’s 1945 version, it’s a by the numbers affair only briefly livened up by its gimmicky 60-second whodunnit break near the end. It may boast a desolate location – a mountaintop hotel accessible only by cable car – but the hotel itself (actually in Ireland) is a pretty dull location, and the flat photography doesn’t help matters, which is a problem when the cast rarely leave it (and certainly never get as far as Austria). Unlike his 1974 version we do actually get to see the murders and some mild imagination has gone into fitting them in with the nursery rhyme, but in the hands of George Pollock, who had directed Margaret Rutherford’s Miss Marple films, it’s not exactly edge of seat stuff.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 July 2015
Directed by George Pollock (who worked in this role on many early screen adaptions of classic Agatha Christie novels), 1965's 'Ten Little Indians, based on the Agatha Christie book 'And Then There Were None', is the first remake of the excellent 1945 original. Although often spoken about unfavourably in comparison to the first, I believe that this is a pretty solid adaptation, much more contemporary in it's style, and with an excellent cast.

Before I talk about the film, I have to say that the DVD is slightly disappointing. The visual quality is okay for viewing, but there has been no remastering, and as a result, all the dust and grain is kept in throughout. The main disappointment for was the 'The Whodunit Break', which is included, as clearly started on the cover. For the first time in motion picture history, just before the movie's climax, 'The Whodunit Break!' gave audiences sixty seconds to guess the indenity of the killer. We are told on the back of the DVD, 'The film will pause and on the screen you will see clues to help you decide who the murderer is'. Well, I waited, and waited, but no such thing took place. Instead, it is only included on the disc as a bonus feature, and not part of the main film at all, which did seem rather pointless to me.

As for the film, as the old story goes, ten strangers visit a mountaintop in Winter (originally a remote island in the book and first film), they all have one thing in common, and have also been gathered together by the mysterious Mr Owen. When Owen fails to arrive, the strangers have lunch together, realise that they are unable to leave, and one by one they are killed off, in the clever tradition of the old nursery rhyme 'Ten Little Indians'. Here, you will probably have great fun trying to pick out the murderer, and the ending, which raps things up nicely, should come as a surprise.

Beautifully filmed, and with some super acting, especially from the beautiful Bond girl Shirley Eaton and Hugh O'Brian, if you like a good old fashioned whodunit, 'Ten Little Indians' has plenty of suspense, wit, and charm.
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Earlier this year, I realized that Agatha Christie's stand alone book published now as And Then There Were None was actually a precursor to the slasher films that became popular in the late 70's and 80's. I haven't seen any movie versions of the story until now, when I watched the 1965 version that goes by a previous title, Ten Little Indians.

This version of the story takes place at a remote castle high up a snowy mountain. 8 strangers and a married pair of servants arrive and quickly compare notes to learn they have all been invited there by Mr. Owen. That night, their unseen host's voice starts to come over a recording and accuses each of them of committing a previous murder. And then, one by one, they begin to drop dead. Is there someone else in the house, or is one of them the killer? Will anyone survive?

Before I get into the movie itself, I want to spend a little more time explaining my premise comparing this to a slasher film. Very true, any blood is kept to a minimum, and there really aren't any stalking scenes. One or two give you a little suspense before the person dies, but that's all. Those who hate horror films will still enjoy this since the emphasis is on the puzzle of who is killing these people.

However, we do see the killer's hands appear a few times and there are some killer point of view shots. The power goes out for the final evening of the film, so everything is happening in candle light. Some of the conventions of a slasher are in place here, while other are avoided. (I'm being vague here not to spoil anything). Heck, we see a woman in her underwear a couple of times, rather shocking for the 1960's. Finally, there's a cat around to provide those classic misdirection sounds. (I can't figure out why else a cat would be at this location.)

Am I stretching things? Most likely. But my mind couldn't help but make the comparisons as I was watching it.

Okay, now that we have that behind us, how does this work as a mystery movie? First of all, this follows the ending of the play, not the ending of the book. I have mixed emotions on both endings, so I'm not sure which I like better. There are other changes, like character names and manners of death, but for the most part it works.

This is probably one of Christie's most devilish puzzles. Now maybe it's because I know who the killer is, but I felt this one actually emphasized the clues a bit too much. My roommate figured it out after watching about 10 minutes. When I listened to the book on tape, I never would have figured it out without being told at the end. Of course, the plot does have to cheat since it requires the killer to confess instead of anyone figuring it out, but that's a complaint I have with the story in general.

The movie was filmed in black and white, but I think it works well. The scenes are still vibrant and it adds a mysterious and threatening air to the proceedings.

Aside from the women screaming and getting hysterical at various times, I found most of the acting to be believable. Fabian is the biggest ham of the cast, but he isn't a big part of things, so it's easy to forgive the movie that. Others in the cast include Hugh O'Brian, Shirley Eaton, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, and Dennis Price.

The DVD was released a few years back, and I've got to take a star off for it. There is dust and grain almost the entire way through the film. It's very noticeable. The film is widescreen and it claims to be full surround, although I never noticed anything coming from my back speakers. The only extra is the "Whodunit Minute." Apparently, this was part of the film in the theaters where the movie paused right before the climax and asked you who you thought it was. It then gave you "clues," when in reality, it just showed you all the murders to date again. I'm glad it's not part of the film here since I thought it was rather stupid, but those who remember it and like it will be glad to have it, I'm sure.

Whether you know the story or not, this version of Ten Little Indians is certainly an enjoyable way to get acquainted with the basic concept. It's too bad the DVD doesn't live up to the film's potential.
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on 16 March 2014
A group of individuals are invited up a mountain to stay in the home of one Mr Owen. A man they've never met, and never will. Here the skeleton's in their cupboards are revealed one by one, by audio tape, disclosing their murderous histories and nefarious past activities. That is until they begin to get bumped off, one at a time.
Resulting in a scenario in which it is clear that either one of the party (or indeed an unknown outsider) is still prone to killing ways..
And although their environment seemingly leaves escape an impossible option, trust can be a very dangerous inclination too and is just as likely to get you killed....

60s black and white version of the classic Agatha Christie tale. That has some lovely little touches and a couple of class acts in Holloway and Hyde~White.
Fabian is unforgivably bad, leaving the audience wondering if the director should have done away with him for real based on his performance! As he chirpily destroys all scenes he's in, with a character seemingly styled on Ricky Nelson, if he were to host the TV show 'Man Versus Food'!
The hero played by Hugh O' Brian is almost as bad, giving us a puny square jaw, with no charisma whatsoever, ill suited to Eaton's heroine, who does a decent enough job in her role. Adorf looking as greasy~burly and rustically angry as ever, as the butler.
The location ideas are better than the 70s version and it's got a more claustrophobic feel with the camera angles and lighting, but that doesn't let the director completely off the hook however, as all the way through, I was hoping he'd make more of the freezing conditions and cold atmosphere, instead this coming over a bit more of a light hearted adventure and no surprise that his earlier films included the four (excellent!) Margaret Rutherford Miss Marples.
Keen listeners will no doubt spot Christopher Lee's voice as Mr Owen.

The orbit print actually surprised me at how good it was. Now don't get me wrong, it's no better than average, but I've seen some of their output before and it's been very poor indeed, so I was pleasantly surprised..

3.25/5 Although overall I probably preferred the 70s one, there's not much in it.
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VINE VOICEon 19 March 2006
8 people are invited to a remote mountaintop chalet by their host U.N. Owen; two people are already there as the butler and cook. Once there they find that their mysterious host has accused each of murder and commences to dispatch the guests in the order of a song of Ten Little Indians. Finding that they are cut off from the outside world they must find Mr. Owen and neutralize him before they are all dispatched.
All the clues are present; can you detect whodunit and why?
Pretty well acted version of an Agatha Christie classic. Everyone remembers the standard movie version the was made “And Then There Were None” (1945) with Barry Fitzgerald. Several other attempts were made such as “And Then There Were None” (1974) with Elke Sommer and even one movie with the original book title “Ten Little Niggers” (1949) with John Bentley.
This version with Hugh O'Brian as Hugh Lombard even keeps much of the dialog and is with adding to you Agatha Christy collection. Many of the actors are popular and will be recognizable form similar plays. The Voice of 'Mr. Owen' is Christopher Lee. The only annoying part is the constant intrusion of sixties music by Malcolm Lockyer. The good part is that the most obnoxious actor gets bumped off first.
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on 13 December 2015
The movie itself is good, but the quality of the DVD is awful! I've no idea why they would do it, but they have not preserved the original aspect ratio of anamorphic wide screen, instead they've presented the film here in full screen, which is quite distracting, as you can't actually see the faces of the cast when they are speaking if they are at the far left or right of the picture! This is especially noticeable also during the opening credits: 'gatha hristies en ittle ndians' starring ILFRED HYDE WHIT and directed by ARRY ALAN TOWE'.....
And the 'whodunnit break' which formed part of the original movie, and which the DVD sleeve claims to include, is actually presented only as an extra feature!
And thirdly, the picture quality is terrible. My old vhs taped off the telly years ago is better picture, and it was widescreen too!!!!
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VINE VOICEon 3 September 2008
8 people are invited to a remote mountaintop chalet by their host U.N. Owen; two people are already there as the butler and cook. Once there they find that their mysterious host has accused each of murder and commences to dispatch the guests in the order of a song of Ten Little Indians. Finding that they are cut off from the outside world they must find Mr. Owen and neutralize him before they are all dispatched.

All the clues are present; can you detect whodunit and why?

Pretty well acted version of an Agatha Christie classic. Everyone remembers the standard movie version the was made "And Then There Were None" (1945) with Barry Fitzgerald. Several other attempts were made such as "And Then There Were None" (1974) with Elke Sommer and even one movie with the original book title "Ten Little Niggers" (1949) with John Bentley.

This version with Hugh O'Brian as Hugh Lombard even keeps much of the dialog and is with adding to you Agatha Christy collection. Many of the actors are popular and will be recognizable form similar plays. The Voice of 'Mr. Owen' is Christopher Lee. The only annoying part is the constant intrusion of sixties music by Malcolm Lockyer. The good part is that the most obnoxious actor gets bumped off first.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 31 December 2010
A snowed-in, mountaintop castle is the setting for mystery as ten strangers gather for a weekend party. They've all been invited by a man none of them know, but their host, Mr. Owens, knows a lot about them. Each of them is accused of being a murderer and Mr. Owens wastes no time in punishing them for their crimes according to the children's rhyme, "Ten Little Indians."

This version of Agatha Christie's novel is inferior to the 1945 movie in many ways. It uses virtually the same script, but the actors, with a few exceptions, aren't as good. Wilfred Hyde-White, Stanley Holloway, and Dennis Price are very good as the judge, the detective, and the doctor, but Hugh O'Brian and Shirley Eaton are a stiff and unsympathetic leading couple while Daliah Lavi and Fabian's acting skills are laughable.

A major drawback is the upbeat jazz soundtrack which is completely out of place in a moody mystery. The setting is another weak point; the "castle" is a cheaply-built and fairly modern home and the mountaintop isn't really as inaccessible as it should be. Too many of the characters view the mounting death toll as a subject for derision rather than fear, so the movie lacks intensity and thrills. Disappointing.
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